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Obama and Gay Marriage: Thanks for Nothing

Editor’s note: The president’s comment Wednesday that he now supports marriage rights for same-sex couples after years of meditation and evolution has been hailed as a historic moment in American politics. Not everyone is so impressed. Below, Truthdig senior writer Scott Tucker reacts to the news.

President Obama was finally politically cornered, including by the unscripted remarks of Vice President Biden. Anyone who attributes courage to Obama in making this announcement is in a bemused state of mind. Obama’s calculation was electoral through and through. And the White House was definitely getting the news that major gay donors would not be signing checks until he “evolved” already. Also, millions of ordinary gay voters were finding it harder to suppress mounting moral revulsion at being played like extras in every election.

This concession, extracted from one of the emptiest suits ever to enter the White House, will be lauded by anyone and everyone inclined to vote by rote for career Democrats.

The honor of the real struggle over the years and decades does not belong to such politicians, but to gay couples and rebel queers of all kinds. First and foremost to ourselves. So thanks to all of you — all of us — who fought the good fight.

And for those who “evolved” themselves into triangulating and calculating career politicians: Thanks for nothing.

As for Obama lauding “incredibly committed monogamous relationships,” just consider making that argument in defense of allowing straight couples to marry. Yes, because heterosexuals really set the gold standard for monogamy. Obama never sounds more fake than when he is laying on the morals, monogamy and militarism with a gilded trowel.

Now maybe career Democrats will “evolve” on issues such as war, empire, torture, civil liberties and habeas corpus.

Scott Tucker
Scott Tucker is a writer and a democratic socialist. His book of essays, "The Queer Question: Essays on Desire and Democracy," was published by South End Press in 1997. He met Larry Gross in 1975, and they…
Scott Tucker

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